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Developing Search Terms
Sometimes the words you use to search a topic are different from the words used by the library catalog and databases. Before you search, try coming up with other ways to describe and explore your topic.
- origin or creation
- stories, myths, legends, and folklore/folktales
- names of specific cultural groups or geographic areas
- oral histories or narratives
- criticism, analysis, or interpretation
- imagery, symbolism, or themes
- historic or cultural context
- primary versus secondary sources
If you have trouble finding information on your topic, ask a librarian for help.
Whose Story Are You Telling?
Pay attention to different perspectives on your topic based on which group or author is telling the story. Is the story being told from within a culture or from outside? How do the words we use to describe the story support or undermine the culture of origin?
Myths, Legends, and Folktales of America by
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2000
This marvelous collection brings together the great myths and legends of the United States--from the creation stories of the first inhabitants, to the tall tales of the Western frontier, to the legendary outlaws of the 1920s, and beyond.
California Through Native Eyes by
Call Number: 979.400497 B344c
Publication Date: 2016
Most California histories begin with the arrival of the Spanish missionaries in the late eighteenth century and skip to the Gold Rush of 1849. Noticeably absent from these stories are the perspectives and experiences of the people who lived on the land long before European settlers arrived. Historian William Bauer seeks to correct that oversight through an approach that tells California history strictly through Native perspectives.